Binay joins Aquino in state banquet for Japanese imperial couple
Vice President Jejomar Binay stepped inside Malacañang Palace for the first time on Wednesday night after severing ties with President Benigno Aquino III last year.
Binay and his wife, Elenita, attended the state banquet hosted by President Aquino for Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
At one point during the dinner, the microphone picked up President Aquino introducing Emperor Akihito to Binay.
“The Vice President,” the President said, as the Emperor and Binay shook hands, with a wall of white orchids as backdrop.
Mr. Aquino introduced the Empress to Binay afterwards.
The Emperor and Empress flanked President Aquino at the table, while Binay sat on the Empress’ left.
Binay is now the opposition leader after breaking ties with Mr. Aquino, a longtime political ally, in June last year, saying he was fed up with the administration allies’ attacks against him.
He had expressed disappointment that President Aquino had not defended him.
Binay is the leading presidential contender in the May elections.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.